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Summer 2002 | Volume 25, Number 3 | Athletics
Varsity Pair Rows to Gold at Dad Vail Regatta

IN ITS FIRST NATIONAL championship race, the women's varsity pair crew shell from Seattle Pacific University captured the gold medal. Trisha Sawatsky teamed with fellow senior Kimberly Tschetter to beat the nearest competitor by a full 10 seconds at the 64th annual Dad Vail Regatta on the Schuykill River in Pennsylvania on May 11.

Seniors Kimberly Tschetter (second from left) and Trisha Sawatsky (second from right) won the Western International Rowing Association Championship in Folsom, California, en route to Dad Vail. They are pictured here after the event with (left to right) Assistant Coach Josh Adam, Head Coach Keith Jefferson and Assistant Coach Jessie Pennington.
"Due to injuries during the season," says Head Coach Keith Jefferson, "it was clear that we couldn't get a varsity four team together, so we decided to pursue the best varsity pair we could." The duo turned out to be the best of the best. Though Sawatsky and Tschetter struggled to work as a team at first, by the end of the season they were an unbeaten pair at 7-0.

Tschetter was a member of the varsity four a year ago. When she first joined SPU crew as a freshman, she and Jeffer-son locked horns. "Kim was a thorn in my side," he laughs. "She didn't want to take orders. But something clicked last year. She grasped what we were after: teamwork. She's been an absolute joy to work with ever since."

Says Tschetter: "Keith demands us to be people of character before he demands good rowing. He instills what it means to treat people well, to be a beacon for God wherever you go, to have devotion to your team."

Sawatsky, a newcomer to nationals, was serious about the sport from the beginning. "Trish is absolutely locked on," says Jefferson. "She has a wonderful work ethic. It's positive to see her growth."

The most difficult thing about crew, both Tschetter and Sawatsky agree, is that it's all-encompassing. It's hard to get up for a predawn workout, and it's rough doing 12 workouts a week. "I could have gotten into a lot of different activities at SPU," says Sawatsky, "but I knew that if I joined crew, I needed to concentrate on that one thing."

"It's the best diet plan, however," says Tschetter. "You can eat anything you want. I mean, anything."

On the day of the finals at Schuykill, conditions were perfect for rowing, with just a little tailwind. Jefferson told his dynamic duo, "You go out there and just unleash the hounds!" The two beat second-place Bucknell University with a finishing time of 8:08.1.

"It was an outstanding, solid win," says Jefferson about the pair's gold-medal finish. "It's the first time we've ever won a national championship with a varsity pair. We knew nobody could touch them if they had the right rowing conditions."


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From the President
The Board of Trustees adopted a new SPU mission statement in May 2002. "I believe passionately in what we are trying to articulate here," says President Philip Eaton.

Commencement 2002
Graduates celebrate their hard-earned diplomas — and create The Class of 2002 Endowment. [Campus]

Baseball: Genesis to Numbers
Professor of History Bill Woodward is on a lecture tour throughout small-town Washington for "Inquiring Mind," a popular project of the Washington Commission for the Humanities. [Faculty]

Tiffany Bricks Project
Alumni, friends and members of the SPU community are invited to purchase and inscribe a brick from the former Tiffany Hall. Funds will directly benefit student scholarships. [Alumni]

My Response
Nick Glancy, Class of 2002, writes about September 11, the Gospel of John and J.R.R. Tolkien in this new Response department. [My Response]